Exercise feels good and changes how we think

Research has shown that exercise helps combat depression and is almost as effective as taking anti-depressants. It seems that regular exercise triggers mechanisms in the brain, which help the body remain healthy in the longterm.

One theory states when physically active, the level of brain derived neurotropic factor (BNDF) increases in the blood, this protein is often lacking in depressed people. Through this increase alternative neuronal pathways are created, which enable new behaviours:  Unproductive thought patterns often characterising a depression can be given up and replaced by more flexible cognitve processes.

Another research team looked at a healthy individuals and showed that when in movement the motoric cortex is stimulated and the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for logical thought and planning is less activated. As a consequence when physically active, we are freeer to think and more receptive to new information.

An accompanying measure for psychological well-being should be a form of physical activity. What you choose should be experienced as pleasurable as that increases the chance of remaining active in the longterm. The more regularly you exercise, the easier it will be to get started.

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